Militia used by China for territorial grab extolled in music video
MANILA, Philippines—China may be denying on the world stage the existence of its maritime militia, but back home, it has its own official music video.
The music video was produced by Sansha Garrison, called “Song of the Sansha Maritime Militia,” the Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported early this week, as part of its extensive investigation on the nature of Sansha City’s maritime militia.
Sansha City was established in 2012 to administer China’s territorial grab in the South China Sea, which included Philippine waters in the West Philippine Sea.
The music video was uploaded on Chinese video sharing website Bilibili on April 13, 2020.
RFA said the video depicts the city’s maritime militia training with weapons, surveillance tactics, boarding operations and other related activities.
In a translation provided by Andrew Erickson, a professor at US Naval War College and a leading expert on the Chinese maritime militia, part of the lyrics reads:
The Maritime Militia is the guardian of the ocean frontier/ Serve the Country and be loyal to the Party/ In peacetime, be the vanguard of rights protection/ In times of emergency, join the battle and win the war/ Be proud, we are the Sansha Maritime Militia
Ships that looked like the “Qiongsanshayu” Chinese militia vessels were also seen in the music video, RFA reported.
According to Automatic Identification System (AIS) data and satellite imagery, these vessels were deployed to parts of the South China Sea in 2020, including to Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, which China grabbed following a standoff with the Philippines in 2012, it added.
The steel-hulled vessels called “Qiongsanshayu,” the RFA report said, were part of the Sansha City Fisheries Development, which RFA said was likely a civilian front for a paramilitary force, citing documents it gathered.
Determining the real character of the Chinese militia vessels had been tricky. Most pose as fishing vessels, but they are not actually fishing. Militias are being used to aggressively enforce China’s territorial theft in the South China Sea, including West Philippine Sea, without sparking overt war. Formally, they are part of China’s armed forces.
The Philippines has protested the incursions of China militia vessels in the West Philippine Sea. Beijing trashed and ignored the protests, saying the vessels were for fishing and not part of a militia, a claim described by Philippine officials as a brazen lie.
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